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Alternative Title

Comparing lying behavior in real-effort and luck tasks

Publication Date


First Advisor

Simon Halliday

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Behavioral economics, Laboratory experiment, Deceoption, Cheating, Lying costs, Luck versus real effort


This paper studies the differences in lying behavior between real-effort and luck tasks. While most papers use luck tasks to study deception, recent research shows that individuals may behave differently when the outcomes are assigned by luck or through real effort. We conduct an experiment with a 2 by 2 factorial design in which we observe lying behavior at the individual level. We compare lyingin luck and real-effort tasks and find that the proportion of people is constant across the tasks but the magnitude of lies is higher is luck tasks. We also compare two real-effort tasks, one of which contains a greater luck component and find no differences across the two tasks.


©2019 Oumayma Koulouh. Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.




45 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 29-31)